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No. 50 Febru< "> , ' 196 ° 



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ONTARIO 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 

REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 

DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Fish and Wildlife Branch 



(These Reports Are For Intra-Departmental Information and Not For Publication) 



Hon. J. W. Spooner \* MaeD-ugall 

Mini.fr Deputy Mimster 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 
No. 50 February, I960 



Page 

Red Fox Movements In Lake Huron District, 1957-1959. 

- by R. E. Mason 1 

Gogaraa District Aerial Beaver Census, 1959. 

- by E. H. Stone 4 

Deer Browse Survey and Pellet Group Count, Rat Lake 

Concentration Area. - by W. L. MacKinnon & 

Report of Deer Survey, 1959 > Blair and Mowat 
Townships, Parry Sound District. 

- by W. E. Ellerington 15 

Duck Banding - Gogama District, 1959. 

- by J. E. Culliton 17 

Small Game Hunters* Mail Bag Survey Carried Out In 
Lake Huron District, 195^-59. 

- by T. M. Nicholl 22 

Report On Status of Sharp-tailed Grouse, Kenora 

District. - by A. R. Olsen 26 

The Wild Turkey In Southwestern Ontario. 

- by 0. L. Mellick and L. J. Stock 32 

Pelee Island Pheasant Shoot, 1959> Statistics and 

Comments. - by L. J. Stock 36 

Lake Erie Smelt Harvest By Sports Fishermen. 

- by J. D. Roseborough 44 



( THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



- 1 - 



RED FOX MOVEMENTS IN LAKE HURON DISTRICT, 1957-1959 

by 
R. E. Mason 



Contributing Personnel - H. W. Clark 

R. A. Guenther 
C. A. Wolfe 



Introduction s 

In 1957 the County of Oxford initiated a bounty system for 
foxes in which $50.00 was paid for ear-tagged foxes. This system was 
initiated to lower the overall cost of bounty payments while still 
offering incentive to hunters to destroy foxes. (For comments on 
the success of this sytem, see Fox Bounty in Oxford County. H. W. 
Clark, Conservation Officers* Projects, Vol. IV, 1957-195S). 

During the rabies epizootic in the early fall of 195$ a 
similar program was undertaken by Bruce and Wentworth Counties. 

In all three Counties foxes were ear-tagged and released 
by Conservation Officers who recorded the date and location of release. 
Bounty claimants were required to complete an application form in 
order to receive payment. The application form solicited the date 
and location of the capture, and a copy of this was filed at District 
Office. 

Of a total of 60 ear-tagged foxes, records of 22 recaptures 
were obtained. This is a minimum return of 36.7%«» 

Procedure ; 

In Oxford County fox pups were dug from dens in May. After 
two to three weeks in captivity, they were transported to previously 
selected sites where they were tagged and released. Of the 15 foxes 
released, nine were reported shot. 

In Wentworth County foxes were obtained, as in Oxford, 
during June and July. They were kept in captivity at a local zoo 
until about the middle of September when they were tagged and released 
on previously selected sites. Of 21 foxes released, five were reported 
shot. 



- 2 - 

In Bruce County a trapper was employed by the County to 
obtain foxes during October. Foxes were trapped, tagged, transported 
to the release sites and released all in the same day. Of 2 5 foxes 
released, eight recaptures were reported. 

Observations : 

The distances travelled, directions and number of days 
between release and recapture are presented in Table I. The data 
presented are for Id foxesi 



TABLE I - Direction, Distance and Duration 





Number 


Direction 


Miles 


1 


238° 


17.5 


2 


- 


0.0 


3 


300° 


6.0 


4 


127° 


5.0 


5 


- 


0.0 


6 


260 


4.5 


7 


347° 


32.0 


8 


11° 


2.5 


9 


314° 


43.5 


10 


330° 


2.0 


11 


247° 


5.5 


12 


133° 


5.5 


13 


202° 


23.5 


14 


133° 


20.5 


15 


123° 


1.5 


16 


63° 


22.5 


17 


- 


0.0 


IS 


- 


0.0 






Mean 10.9 



Days 

167 
156 

73* 
133* 
124* 
179 
153 
256 
240 
179 
134 
101 

65 
195 

16 

35 
22 

68 

130.3 



Approximations only - within 14 days. 



Discussion: 



Since foxes were not sexed, differential movements between 
males and females could not be measured. Since all the foxes were 
displaced, the movements would have to be considered dispersal move- 
ments rather than movements within a home territory. 



No differences were observed in disp 
foxes held in captivity, and foxes which were 
as they were captured. The mean distance trav 
case was 10.3 miles, and the latter case 11.2 
being close to the general mean of 10.9 miles. 
travelled was 43*5 miles in which case the fox 
days. Four individuals were shot on the relea 
average of 93 days elapsed between their relea 
(Range 22 - 156 days) . 



ersal distances between 
released the same day 
elled in the former 
miles, both figures 
The record distance 
was at large for 240 
se site even though an 
se and recapture. 



. - 3 - 

No differences were observed in the direction of travel of 
the foxes, that is, no trend to move in the same general direction, 
as shown in Table II. 

TABLE II - Direction of Travel 











Direction 

- 90° 

90 - 130° 

180 - 270O 

270 - 360° 


No. Foxes 

3 
3 

4 
4 


Direction 

45 - 135° 
135 - 225° 
225 - 315° 
315 - 45° 


No. Foxes 

3 
3 

4 
4 



Dispersion of foxes in this District would, therefore, seem 
to be random, as modified by habitat requirements. 

No indication of homing was found in the released animals. 

The mean length of time between release and recapture was 
131 days. This would indicate a short life expectancy in the wild. 
Assuming the foxes were born during the first week in April, these 
figures would indicate an average life expectancy of about 250 to 
260 days. 

The argument might be made that the rabies epizootic would 
affect these figures of life expectancy. However, using the Oxford 
County information only, and assuming the same time of birth, the 
life expectancy of those foxes was only 245 days. The program in 
Oxford County was initiated one year before the epizootic. 

S ummary : 

(1) Dispersal movements of foxes were random although probably 
modified by habitat requirements. 

(2) The mean linear distance travelled during dispersal movements 
was about 11 miles. 

(3) Displaced foxes showed no evidence of horning. 

(4) Life expectancy of foxes under natural conditions is less than 
one year. 



- L - 



GOGAMA DISTRICT AERIAL BEAVER CENSUS, 1959 

by 
E. H. Stone 



For the fourth consecutive year the beaver census course, 
as laid out in 1956, was flown. The flight took place in October 
21st, 1959 between the hours of 0$s30 a.m. and 12s30 p.m.. Weather 
conditions were ideal with clear skies and visibility unlimited. 
An altitude of $50 feet above the lake at Gogama was maintained on 
the flight, as was the case during the 195$ flight. The circular 
course was once again flown in a counter clockwise direction. Forest 
typing as established during the 195$ survey was utilized on the same 
basis for the 1959 compilation. 

The crew was changed once again, which is unavoidable in 
this District due to the frequent changes in staff. George Campbell, 
pilot and Bruce Turner left observer participated in the 195$ survey 
whereas, E. H. Stone, navigator, and John McKnight right observer 
were new additions to the crew. The navigator however, had previously 
participated in this type of survey in another District. Observations 
were plotted on a map, two miles to the inch, for the first time, as 
suggested by the Division of Research. This should give a better 
picture of year to year comparisons over this selected route. 

Population Change 

Observations made during the 1959 survey showed an overall 
increase of 41 in all classes, or 30.6% (Table II). An increase of 
20.$% in lodges with food piles could be a leading indication that 
a general increase in beaver populations was evident over the tran- 
sects flown. The flight was made two days later than in 195$ and it 
was quite noticeable that freeze up was well advanced as compared to 
that experienced in previous years. Many of the small ponds were 
completely frozen. This could have stimulated an early food pile 
collection by the beaver. The "active pond" category almost doubled 
from the previous year and swung completely out of line with that of 
the three previous years, which were relatively stable. With ice 
conditions existing on many of the ponds, there is the possibility 
weird reflections through the ice could have been misleading and 
given the observers false impressions of beaver activity. In this 
instance the increase in this category cannot be blamed on the 
"green" observer. He had a lower count than that of the experienced 
left observer who tallied a total comparable to the combined observa- 
tions under the "active pond" category for the 195$ census. 

The increase as indicated through observations during this 
year's survey could be a true picture as trappers appearing on the 
scene with their first fur catches are reporting varying degrees 
of beaver increases. 



. - 5 - 

Forest types as adjusted during the 195$ flight were checked 
and considered to be as accurate as feasibly possible. Slight varia- 
tions were noticeable where breaks occurred in the typing but this 
was not considered worthy of a change. 

The principal type (mixed wood) consisting of #1 and 2 (Table 
III) showed increases in total observations from 36.2 to 55.1 in #1 
and from 57-1 to 71.4 per hundred lineal miles in #2. Forest type #3 
and #8 dropped slightly in total observations with the balance of 
the areas showing slight increases. 

The number of observations in all but the first two types 
are of such a small number, and representative of only a small portion 
of the total area surveyed, that changes are insignificant. 

O bserver Efficiency 

As stated in previous reports it is quite obvious that 
observers for this survey should be preserved from year to year. 
Familiarization flights prior to the actual survey flight would 
undoubtedly aid those who are completely "green". 

However, this would not give the desired efficiency, gained 
only by years of experience, that is necessary to illustrate a better 
picture of year-to-year trends. 

This part of the survey still creates many discrepancies 
and can only be remedied by utilizing observers who are experienced 
and keenly interested in this type of work. 

TABLE I - Observations Recorded By Observers 



Left Observer 
Right Observer 

Left Observer 
Right Observer 

Left Observer 
Right Observer 

Left Observer 
Right Observer 



Active 

Lodge With 
Food Pile 


Active 
Lodge 

Alone 


Food 
Pile 

Alone 


Active 
Pond 


Water 


5 
11 


4 
6 


1956 



4 


8 
15 


- 


51 
24 


2 

4 


1957 


3 




9 
11 


220 
231 


16 
22 


8 
5 


1958 


4 
10 


9 
19 


276 
319 


20 
28 


7 
14 


19^9 


4 
8 


28 
25 


240 
230 



- 6 - 

TABLE II - Total Observations 

















Active 
Lodge With 
Food Pile 

16 


Active 
Lodge 

Alone 

10 


Food 
Pile 
Alone 

4 


Active 
Pond 

23 


Total 

All 

Classes 


1956 


53 


1957 


75 


6 


3 


22 


106 


195s 


38 


13 


14 


23 


93 


1959 


43 


21 


12 


53 


134 



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- g - 

DEER BROWSE SURVEY AND PELLET GROUP COUNT 
RAT LAKE CONCENTRATION AREA 

by 
W. L. MacKinnon 



Introduction 

A winter deer concentration area was found to exist northwest 
of Rat. Lake near the University of Toronto Forest . 

During the winter of 195&-59 this area was surveyed by air 
craft and the boundaries of the deer concentration mapped. The purpose 
of this preliminary survey was to provide a study area close to the 
Forest Ranger School, where deer browse surveys and pellet group 
counts could be made by students under normal field conditions. 

From the aerial survey deer were found to be using an area 
of approximately l/3 square mile in size. 

This area was established on base maps and typed as to 
forest composition. On June 4> 1959* a deer browse survey and pellet 
group count was conducted by a group of fifteen students attending a 
Special Fish and Wildlife Course at the Forest Ranger School. 

Method 

Maps were prepared with transects running lengthwise of 
the concentration area, starting two chns. from the shore at Rat Lake, 
five lines were run at seven chn. intervals and a party of three men 
did the survey on each line. 

One member of each party acted as compass and chainman 
leaving the other two men to count twigs and pellet groups. 

A plot 2 feet bv 66 feet was tekan at five chn. intervals 
along each of the respective lines one to five, these plots being 
equivalent to 1/330 acre. 

For the purpose of the pellet group counts, the same plot was 
used with the exception that 3.3 feet each side of the chain was used 
giving a plot size of 6.6 ? x 66 y or 1/100 of an acre. 

To facilitate the measurements in the field, sticks or 
saplings were cut, one, two feet with a one foot division, one, 3*3 
feet with a 1 1/2 ft. division mark which was used to measure height 
of available browse and width of pellet group plot. 



- 9 - 

All stems (living) within the range of 1 1/2 feet to 6 1/2 
feet high lying within the actual boundary of the browse survey plot 
(2' x 66 ? ) were tallied as one stem. The total number of living stems 
with available browse found on each plot were tallied and recorded 
in the living stem column on tally sheet. 

Stems mutilated by old browsing were tallied in the mutilated 
column but were also recorded as a living stem. 

Stems killed by former browsing were tallied in the killed 
column, no winter killed or other type of damaged stems were 
recorded. 

Information was also collected on the topographic and 
geographic features of the area, type of soil, forest composition, 
and slope gradient after browse and pellet groups were counted. 

This information was recorded on Deer Browse Tally Form 
(RES 23). 

Deer pellet groups found on plots were tallied as to winter 
or summer droppings, also on reverse side of sheet (RES 23). 

Results 

Data collected in the field were compiled in class the 
following day. The Deer Browse Survey was done first, and will be 
dealt with in this order. 

A total of 57 plots were completed by the five crews and an 
area summary was then completed using form (RES 23). 

From this form the following information was compiled by 
species for all species occurring on the concentration area. 

Frequency Index 

This was found by dividing the total number of plots 
sampled into the number of times a species occurred. 

e.g. Balsams _9 (number of Plots with balsam) - , 
57 (total number of plots) - ,lb 

Living Stems Per Acre 

This was found by taking the sum of the living stem x 330 
(size of plot) over number of plots in the sample. 

e.g. Balsam: 22 x 330 - 126 



- 10 - 

Relative Availability 

This was found by taking the total sum of living stems of 
one species over sum of total stems of all species, times 100 and is 
expressed as a percentage, 

e.g. Balsams 127 (Balsam stems) , nn m Qa * 

.4370 (Total of all species) x 1UU " ^ ,v/o 

Browse Units Per Acre 

This was found by taking the Browse units in sample over 
number of plots sampled x 1/330. 

e.g. Balsam: Browse units 1#9 x ( 330 ) 5.8 = 1100 (approx.) 

57 

Relative Utilization Percentage 

This was found by taking the Browse units for one species 
over Browse units for all species x 100. 

e.g. Balsams _1100 x 10Q = 2% 

Twigs Browsed Percentage 

This was found by taking the Browse units per acre over 
living stem per acre. 



e.g. 1100 - g #7 g 



Percentage of Mutilated Stems to Living Stems 

This was found by taking the number of Mutilated Stems over 
total number of stems x 100 and is expressed as a percentage. 

e.g. Balsam J£ (Mutilated) x 10Q _ n ^ % 

Percentage of Killed Stems 

This was found by taking the number of stems killed over 
the number of living stems and killed stems, times 100, and is 
expressed as a percentage. 

e.g. Balsam 1 killed -,~r> - i id 
(22 & 1) L & K x 100 _ 4.4% 

Summary 

Frequency index gives us some idea of what species occur in 

concentration area. The percentage of twigs browsed gives indication 

of what species are preferred. A table of preferred foods can be 
made from this information. 



- 11 - 

Availability does not indicate the utilization as it is not 
in proportion. 

e.g. Sugar maple 13,500 units browsed 9.4% 
Hemlock 5,900 units browsed 20.8$ 

It is dependent upon the preferred species. Overall 
utilization gives an indication as to the extent the available browse 
was utilized by deer using the area. In the area sampled it was 
found that browse was utilized at 12.4%. 

5 4 8 390 total B.U. per acre - -\o icf 
4,370 living stems per acre " 1 ^'^/° 

An area may sustain up to 50% utilization without affecting food supply, 
this may be detrimental to good forest management, a 20% utilization 
appears to be a good figure for both deer and forest management. 

Pellet Group Count 

The total number of pellet groups found were totalled for 
the 57 plots by season of deposition and are given below. 

Winter Summer 

245 5 

To calculate in terms of deer per square mile, the following formula 
was used: 

P ellet Groups x 100 (1/100 acre size of sample) 
Number of plots in sample 

245 x 100 

en " 430 pellets per acre. 

Pellet groups per square mileJ 

430 x 640 - 275,200 pellets per square mile. 

12.7 was factor used as deposition occurrence per day per deer. 

Deer days will then bet 430 x 640 - deer days 

12o7 per square mile 

Deer per square mile: 430 x 640 

12,7 x 195 days of deposition = 110 per sq. 

mile. 

Days of deposition which may be arbitrary, depending on when survey 
was made, was in this case from October 18th to April 30th, 195 days. 

The above gives a figure which may only be expressed as 
the occurrence of deer per square mile. 



- 12 - 



To arrive at the number of deer using area the following 
formula was useds 

430 x 215 acres (size of area sampled) _ _ , 

12.7 x 195 -37 deer on area. 

Acknowledgment 

I wish to thank Mr. Bruce Stephenson and Mr. Wm. Morris for 
their instruction and help in carrying out this survey, also other 
members of our party, Messrs. E. Deedo and C. Thompson, for their 
assistance. 



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- 15 - 

REPORT OF DEER SURVEY, 1959 
BLAIR AND MOWAT TOWNSHIPS, PARRY SOUND DISTRICT 

by 
W. E. Ellerington 



Surveys were conducted near Squaw Lake, Blair Township and 
Mud Creek area of Mowat Township to determine the winter die off of 
deer in that area and to gather some information on the browse 
conditions in general as well as a visual observation of the remaining 
deer herd, if possible. 

Necessary equipment was moved into this area on Monday, 
May 4th and set up in a camp between the two areas to be surveyed by 
the two officers and four men that were to do the work. 

The Squaw Lake area consisted of eight deer wintering yards 
and a like amount of fringe area and amounted to some 5>600 acres. 
On the cruise lines we found 10 dead deer. Browse conditions indica- 
ted heavy past browsing as many mutilated stems were noted. Much of 
the past winter's browsing was on hazel, some browsing was also noted 
on juniper. Considerable evidence of live deer was noted and although 
only three deer were seen tracks and other indications were that there 
was still an abundance of deer. 

Mud Creek area consisted of six deer wintering areas and a 
considerable amount of fringe area amounting to some 4^000 acres. On 
the cruise lines one dead deer was found, also, a concerted search of 
six chains in width on both sides of Mud Creek for a distance of 3# 
chains produced only one dead deer. Heavy browsing was noted in some 
areas but heavy past browsing was not noted as on the Squaw Lake area. 
Browsing was noted on hazel and also there was considerable maple in 
this area which had been heavily browsed. Evidence of live deer in 
this area was heavy and one deer was seen. 

Difficulties experienced in conducting this survey were 
mainly caused by flooded land which did not show on the maps while 
planning this survey. This caused us to deviate from the proposed 
cruise lines and left the distances of the lines to be estimated to 
some extent. This was overcome in some instances where we had changed 
the boundary line to a watershed boundary and in doing so we were also 
able to map any compassing error that we might have made. 

For future work in an area of this type of topography I 
would recommend contour maps be used for the additional landmarks 
that they would supply. They would also be of assistance in laying 
out the cruise lines as I observed that in some areas we were not 
crossing the ridges and consequently were not properly crossing the 
timber types. 



- 16 - 

Also aerial photographs would be of considerable assistance 
as it was found that the topography did not conform too accurately 
to the maps we were using. 

In conclusion, I would suggest that having observed the 
browse conditions at present in this area and having observed the 
numbers of deer alive and present that no severe damage had been done 
to the deer herds. In fact, I would suggest that considering the 
winter food situation and cover that the area investigated was 
overpopulated in so far as good game management is concerned and that 
to sustain a healthy herd of deer in this area better browse condi- 
tions should be considered as the main problem rather than severe 
.winters. 



- 17 - 

DUCK BANDING - GOGAMA DISTRICT - 1959 

by 
J. E. Culliton 



Duck banding was once again carried out in this District 
from the Halliday Lake area. This year marks the fourth consecutive 
season that this project was embarked upon by members of the local 
Fish and Wildlife staff. 

Due to an unfortunate accident at our District Office, all 
our field records re "Duck Banding - 1959" were lost to fire. It will 
therefore be impossible to give an accurate account of the project as 
to sex and age ratios, It is our good fortune however, to have had 
comprehensive personal records kept in the diaries of the Officers 
engaged in the project. From these diaries we have gathered informa- 
tion to compile this report, giving total ducks banded and an account 
of daily trap intake. 

Officers engaged in this project this season weres C. 0. 
George Vozeh, C. 0. Arthur Zimmerman, C, 0. Ellis Culliton and Mr. 
George Naveau. Mr. Naveau was hired on a temporary basis to assist, 
and arrived at Halliday Lake September 4> remaining until September 17. 

On August 5 the grass at the trap sites was cut, the cages 
pulled out into view, and the sites baited for the first time. Another 
visit to Halliday Lake was made on August 12, at which time the traps 
were placed very close to the sites and all positions were re-baited. 
Very little bait acceptance was noted on the August 12 visit. 

On August IS the crew began occupancy of the Halliday Lake 
cabin and the erection of the traps commenced. 

The following table gives a comparison of duration and 
success of the project since its origin in 1956: 



Year Banding Commenced Banding Ceased Total Days Total Banded 

1956 August 23 September 

1957 August 16 September 

19 58 August 19 September 

1959 August IS September 



15 


24 


462 


6 


22 


206 


11 


24 


285 


13 


27 


19^ 



It will be noted that the figure, of total ducks banded in 
1959 compares poorly with other years. This is attributed in part to 
excessive disturbances in the vicinity of the cages due to mining 
activity, and predator action at one of our hitherto best sites. 



- 1£ - 



In general fewer ducks were observed this season than in the past. It 
is believed that the quantity of ducks in this area is far below what 
it has been in past years. 

Only three casualties occurred during the entire period 
of trapping. One of these was an immature black duck which was 
destroyed by a lynx in Baker cage on August 24. (The lynx was sub- 
sequently captured alive and forwarded to Gogama and Toronto). Another 
casualty was an immature black duck carrying the band number 637-20311. 
The third was an unbanded, immature black duck. 

Once again the selectivity of the corn baited traps became 
apparent. Out of the 19$ captured and banded this season it is 
estimated that only three were adult blacks, and one an adult mallard. 
Sex ratio was estimated to lsl for the blacks, and the single mallard 
captured was female. 

As will be noted in the daily summary, (immediately following 
this report) Dog and Easy sites in the Grassy River fared poorly. 
Dog site's total intake was a mere seven ducks and Easy produced nil. 
This lack of production could be attributed to the above average crop 
of wild rice that was apparent this season. As the rice affords an 
excellent source of diet for ducks, they avoid the suspicious appearing 
traps. It is suggested that if the project is to be carried out in 
the future, a study of the rice crop should be made beforehand to 
ascertain the quantity of the rice. If this study determines the crop 
to be abundant, the river sites should be discontinued and greater 
emphasis put on the lake sites. 

This year the traps were completely dismantled by September 
13 t a scant two days prior to the hunting season. The remaining corn 
bait was trampled into the mud, and all evidence of the sites removed. 
During periodic checks it was noted that once again the ducks ceased 
to be interested in the sites immediately the bait was removed, thus 
making it possible to bait close to the hunting season. 

It is interesting to note that only two duck hunters were 
observed to be hunting in the Halliday Lake area during the opening 
shoot. A check of these hunters showed that they bagged only three 
unbanded ducks the first two days of the season. 

Following is a daily summary of the work done during the 
27 day banding period; 

August IS - Cabin set up and all sites visited to determine amount of 
acceptance. All sites re-baited. 

19 - Dog, Easy and Charlie sites erected and Easy ready for 
•taking birds. All sites re-baited. 



- 19 - 

August 20 - Charlie site completed and ready for taking birds. All 
sites re-baited. 

21 - Baker trap completed and ready for taking birds. All 

sites re-baited. 

22 - Charlie took two ducks. All sites re-baited. 

23 - Nil activity, all sites re-baited. 

24 - Charlie took total of 13 ducks. Lynx found in Baker trap 

with partially devoured duck. Lynx captured alive and 
shipped via aircraft OCP to Gogama. Able trap partially 
erected, all sites re-baited. 

25 - One duck taken at Charlie. All traps ready for taking 

ducks this date. All sites re-baited. 

26 - Charlie took six ducks and Able IS. All sites re-baited. 

27 - Charlie took five ducks, Baker six, Able seven and Harry 

one. All sites re-baited. 

28 - Charlie took three, Baker six, Able seven and Harry one. 

All sites re-baited. 

29 - Able took 15, Baker 20, Charlie five and Harry one. All 

sites re-baited. 

30 - Able took six, Charlie four and Harry one. All sites re- 

baited. 

31 - Able took ten, Baker seven, Charlie eight and Harry one. 

All sites re-baited. 

Sept. 1 - Able took IS, Charlie three. All sites re-baited. 

2 - Able took 11, Baker two and Charlie 13. All sites re- 
baited. 

3.- Able took 15, Baker three and Charlie one. All sites 
re-baited. 

4 - Able took 11, and Baker seven. All sites re-baited. 

5 - Able took three and Charlie seven. All sites re-baited. 

6 - Able took four, Charlie eight and Dog one. This is the 
, first duck taken at Dog site this season. All sites 

re-baited. 



- 20 - 



Sept. 7 - Able took three and Charlie two, all sites re-baited. 

8 - Able took three and Charlie four. All sites re-baited. 

9 - All traps produced a total of six new ducks this date. 

All sites re-baited. 

10 - Able took one, Baker five, Charlie two and Dog one. All 

sites rebaited. 

11 - Dog took two ducks. All sites re-baited. 

12 - Baker took two, Charlie one and Dog four. Harry, Dog and 

Easy traps were dismantled this date. 

13 - Able took five, Baker one and Charlie four. All remaining 

traps dismantled this date and project ceased. 

Not e^ 

This summary shows a large overall intake of ducks at all 
sites. The majority of the ducks taken after the second week had 
been banded previously, either this year, or as in a few cases, last 
year. The following Daily Record of Ducks Trapped condenses the 
preceding summary. 

Daily Record of Ducks Trapped, 1959 
















Date 




New Ducks 
2 


Repeats 


Total/Dav 


August 22 




2 


24 




q 


2 


11 


25 




l 


- 


1 


26 




24 


- 


24 


27 




13 


2 


15 


28 




13 


4 


17 


29 




32 


9 


41 


30 




5 


6 


11 


31 




11 


15 


26 


September 


1 


13 


8 


21 




2 


8 


18 


26 




3 


9 


10 


19 




4 


12 


6 


18 




5 


3 


7 


10 




6 


7 


6 


13 




7 


3 


2 


5 




8 


2 


5 


7 




9 


6 


- 


6 




10 


8 


1 


9 




11 


2 


_ 


2 




12 


6 


1 


7 




13 


9 


1 


10 


Totals 


198 


103 


301 



- 21 - 



Total By Species 

1 mallard 
197 black duck 

Comparison of Daily Record of Ducks Banded 1956 - 1959 

August and September Dates 

August 
1612181920212223^2526272129 jO']l 



1956 ------- 8 22 39 40 20 13 20 16 13 

1957 10 18 14 14 10 7 23 12 9 8 11 12 11 9 4 4 

1958 - - - 6 11 13 3 9 12 2 12 15 12 17 15 11 

1959 ------ 2 9 1 24 13 13 32 5 11 



September 
J_2JJtJjJ7jJ1011121]141i 

1956 16 6 10 24 21 21 30 15 31 28 14 13 17 10 13 

1957 34114 19 --------- 

1952 7 29 23 9 24 11 8 20 9 6 2 - 

1959 13 89 12 373268269-- 



Cost of the 1959 Duck Banding Project, exclusive of 
Conservation Officer 9 s wages and transportation were as follows: 

Grain for Bait . ••• f 84. 00 

Provisions $> 143.71 

Wages - (G. Naveau) ..... $ 117.00 

TOTAL COST $ 344.71 



- 22 - 

SMALL GAME HUNTERS MIL BAG SURVEY CARRIED OUT IN 
LAKE HURON DISTRICT, 1958-59 

by 

T. M. Nicholl 



Selection of Hunters 

When licences were distributed to the Township Issuers, 
every tenth hunter received a "Hunter Survey Kit." 

Statistics Based on the Returns From Hunters 

Estimated sales of licences to 23 Regulated Townships ...... 6,000 

No. of hunters issued "Survey Kits" 6l6 

No. of hunters returns usable « . . 2$7 

No. of hunters returns unusable 64 

No. of hunters shot all kinds of game 234 

No. of hunters did not shoot pheasant c...... 53 

No. of hunters who only shot fox (in a party) 101 

No. of hunters reporting for a party 22 

No . of hunt er s with comment s 132 

Ho. of hunters with separate letters 23 

No. of hunters whose letters were returned owing to 

wrong or unknown address 47 

No. of letters returned but not completed, as licences 

issued to someone other than addressee 12 

No. of game shot in 23 Regulated Townships, percent of 

hunters reporting in sample • 4«6 

Percent of hunters receiving hunter kit (entire survey) .... 10.2 



Percent 


of 


Total 


Bag 


Pheasants 






20.6 


Cottontail 


Rabbits 


46. g 


Hares 






16.6 


Squirrel 






2.3 


Grouse 






2.5 


Ducks 






6.1 


Fox 






2.2 


99.6 



Estimated No. of Animals Shot 
In 23 Regulated Townships 



7,920 

IB, 000 

6,500 

1,100 

970 
3,140 

$80 



Estimated number of European hares taken in the remainder 
of the Districts approximately 1B,000 - 20,000; an actual figure 
was unobtainable. This means that about 24,500 to 26,500 hares were 
taken in the entire District. 



- 23 - 

Total hours hunted - 287 hunters l+,66S hunting hours 

Ratio of Cottontail Rabbit s,/Hares 2,2/1 

Ratio of Cottontail Rabbits/Pheasants 2.9/1 

Ratio of Pheasants/Hares . , 1.6/1 

Ratio of Hares/Foxes 7.3/1 

Relative Bag For 100 Hunters/Hours In 23 Regulated Townships 

Pheasants #•••*••••«••• •••••••••• 7*4 

Cottontail Rabbits , , 17.2 

Hares ,., ........ . 6.1 

Foxes 0.6 

Hunting Pressure By Regulated Townships 

On attached map, hunting pressure per township is indicated. 

N. Dumfries non. regulated 

Brantford no hunting by-law 

Tuscarora • Indian Reserve 

Barton no hunting 

Burlington no hunting south of #5 highway 

Nassagaweya and Esquesing no returns received 

Fox Drives Reported But Not Included in Figures 



Township Fox Drives/hours 

Dereham 81 275 

East Oxford 1 100 

Blenheim 2 150 

South Oxford 1 52 

North Oxford 5 30 

Burford 6 311 

North Norwich 11 101 



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- 25 - 



LAKE HURO N 
DISTRICT 



Hunting Pressure 
By Regulated Twp 

||- 1-100 hours 
Q- 100-200 hrs. 

^- 200-300 hrs. 

H[- 300-400 hrs. 

- 400-500 hrs. 
H- 500 and over, 




Seal 

20li%50¥iri 



- 26 - 

REPORT ON STATUS OF SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, KENORA DISTRICT 

by 
A, R. Olsen 



I ntroduction 

Up until a year or so ago, little interest was focused on 
the status of the Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Kenora District, At 
this time, Mr. Harry Lumsden from the Fish & Wildlife Branch, Maple, 
requested that all known locations of this species if any, be 
recorded, especially locations of "dancing grounds" used during the 
mating season, and the number of birds in each covey. 

On this account, when regular patrol work was being under- 
taken, a sharp lookout was kept for Sharp-tails wherever the habitat 
appeared to be at all suitable for them, during the summer of 1959* 

Previous to this summer, occasional small flocks or single 
Sharp-tails were noticed at different locations in the Kenora 
District, usually during the late fall or winter as they fed on birch 
buds. 

Historical Data 

Conversations with a number of "Old-Timers" in the Dryden 
area revealed that when they were establishing their homes and clear- 
ing bushland to begin a life of farming, Sharp-tailed Grouse moved in 
in large flocks and became numerous. 

Several farmers called these birds "Prairie Chickens'' but 
when given a description, or shown a picture of the two different 
birds, all claimed that the majority of the "Chickens" were Sharp- 
tails; however, Prairie Chickens or Pinnated Grouse were not uncommon 
at the same time. 

The information received from these people is considered to 
be sincere and factual, as all seemed very interested because these 
large "Chickens" had been preferred for food rather than the much 
smaller Ruffed Grouse or Spruce Grouse. 

These Sharp-tails seemed to have reached the greatest 
abundance during the 1920* s, and since then, populations steadily 
diminished until only occasional flocks were seen, and strangely 
enough, these small remaining flocks were seen y^ar after year with 
little difference in size. 

Observations 

Reference was made to several periodicals in order to 
glean reliable information concerning adequate Sharp-tail range. 



- 27 - 

Particular reference was made to several editions of the Wisconsin 
Conservation Bulletin which contained many articles on Prairie 
Grouse surveys and management. 

All locations where Sharp-tails were sighted would be 
classed as ideal range, but it was noticed that these articles made 
no particular mention of the importance of streams; streams were 
always close at hand where sightings were made in the Kenora 
District, The banks of these streams were covered with thick alder 
and hazel brush, very near a muskeg or swamp. Characteristic 
sighting locations were composed of abandoned farmland which had 
grown into grasslands, grain stubble fields, or in one instance, a 
cut-over area which had grown into small aspen. All locations had 
an abundance of cover nearby, which included small birch, aspen 
and jackpine, most of which seemed to be the results of regeneration 
on very old burns. 

To date, only two "dancing grounds" have been observed in 
the District; the first of these was located through information 
received from a farmer in Melgund Township that a covey had used the 
same stubble field for years as a breeding ground. The location is 
Lot #£, Concession 6, Melgund Township, in an oat stubble field 
adjacent to a swamp and a creek. The area was checked on several 
occasions from February 15, 1959 on, during routine patrols, but 
no Sharp-tails were seen until April 7th, when six birds were 
observed at 3s30 p.m. These were cavorting and dancing on this 
ten-acre field intwo separate groups of three each, approximately 
100 yards apart. On April 9th, at approximately 9:00 a.m., this 
flock was again noticed dancing on the grounds. They paid little 
attention as the vehicle was driven within 100 feet of the main covey 
and did not flush until one bird was shot for a specimen. Eleven 
birds flew to another field 500 yards distant and settled down. On 
three other occasions this area was visited at different times of the 
day, ranging from dawn to dusk, and each time the birds were dancing; 
the numbers of birds ranged from four to nine. On April 12th the 
area was checked several times but no birds were observed, the mating 
season apparently being over. During the summer and fall there was 
no evidence of this flock although no special effort was made to 
locate them. 

On April £, 1959, six Sharp-tails were observed "dancing" 
on Lot 1, Concession 5, Sanford Township. This location is a stubble 
field of approximately five acres and the dancing was taking place 
on the south edge, within 10 feet of an alder thicket through which 
runs a small stream. When this covey was flushed, two of the total 
six birds were identified as Pinnated Grouse. Unfortunately, this 
area was not visited again, but since it falls into the class of 
ideal habitat it will be kept under observation in future. 






- 28 - 

Since September 15, 1959* eight other locations inhabited 
by Sharp-tailed Grouse were investigated, all falling into the 
category of what has been described by experts as perfect habitat 
in Wisconsin, Michigan and other places where Sharp-tails are found. 
The flocks observed ranged in size from two to l6„ 

One resident directed me to a field in Mutrie Township 
where he knew of a covey of four or five Sharp-tails. This flock, 
the only flock in the area, was known to reappear year after year 
and did not grow any larger in size. I visited the exact location 
recently, as this flock supposedly returned in the fall, and with 
very little searching, I flushed a covey of eight Sharp-tailed 
Grouse. Apparently the flock is beginning to grow. 

This experience has run true for all reported locations, 
for in all cases the located covey contained a larger number of 
birds than was reported - in some cases, double the suggested number. 

Two specimens were taken during this autumn period and 
will be forwarded to Maple for taxonomic purposes. These specimens 
were taken from Locations No. 7 and No. $, shown on the attached map. 

Altogether this past summer, 72 Sharp-tailed Grouse have 
been seen, this being the aggregate of 10 flocks of birds. During 
routine patrols since September 15 this year, as many or more 
Sharp-tails have been counted as Ruffed Grouse. These were all 
spotted on fields while driving. This, in my estimation, is a very 
small percentage of the total population of Sharp-tailed Grouse in 
this area. 

Established locations of Sharp-tailed Grouse flocks are 
as follows and include only those flocks which were personally 
observed; other locations reported have been recorded but are not 
included here. 



- 29 - 



Month 


Map 
Location 

Number 


April 


1 


April 


2 


September 


3 


September 


4 


September 


5 


September 


6 


April (specimen) 


7 



April (specimen) 

April 
April 



3 

9 

10 



Area 

Lot $, Con. 6, Melgund Twp. 

1 mi. south of Flambeau L. 
Dryden Paper Co. Limits 

N 1/2 Lot g, Con. 6, Wain- 
wright Twp. 

Lot 12, Con. 1, Britton Twp. 

Lot 1, Con. 1, Rugby Twp. 

Lot 10, Con. 6, Aubrey Twp. 

N 1/2 Lot 1, Con. 5, Sanford 
Twp. 

N 1/2 Lot 4, Con. 1, Sanford 
Twp. 

Lot 9j Con. 1, Sanford Twp, 

Lot 11, Con. 5, Mutrie Twp. 



No. 
In 
Flock 

12 
2 

2 

5 
6 
$ 



7 

16 

8 



Exploitation of This Species 

During the recent hunting season only two Sharp-tails 
have been reported killed by grouse hunters. This is quite under- 
standable as most grouse hunters merely drive their cars on side 
roads and shoot what is encountered on the roads. Most of these 
hunters carry ,410 gauge shotguns or .22 calibre rifles and these 
would prove very ineffective for Sharp-tails as these grouse are 
quite timid and flush well out of range for a gun smaller than a 
.12 or .16 gauge. Should a Sharp-tail be shot by a hunter, it 
probably would be mistaken for an unusual Ruffed Grouse, with little 
notice being made of it. There is absolutely no hunting pressure 
purposefully directed towards this species anywhere in the District. 



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- 31 - 

Summary ; 

Conversations with older folk in the Dryden area indicate 
that Sharp-tails were once fairly common when pioneer farms were 
being established. 

During 1959> 72 birds were observed while routine patrol 
work was being conducted. These birds were seen in flocks, ranging 
in size from two to 16. 

There is no specific Sharp-tail hunting carried on in the 
District at this time. 

Although there has not been enough survey work done on the 
Sharp-tailed Grouse in this District to substantiate any estimate 
in population, it is my opinion from the observations I have made 
that the population is much higher than might have been expected. 
It also seems apparent that the population is on a steady incline 
rather than a decline, as is the case in most localities where 
Sharp-taila were once abundant. However, I do not suggest that the 
population is anywhere near as extensive as that of the Ruffed Grouse. 
There is considerable habitat suited to the requirements of Sharp- 
tailed Grouse in the District, but it cannot be compared with the 
amount of suitable range available to Ruffed Grouse. 



- 32 - 



THE WILD TURKEY IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO 

by 
O.L. Mellick and L.J. Stock 



This report summarizes the reports and observations of the 
wild turkey population in this District from 1951 to 195&- It 
supplements the report by CO. Bartlett (Feb. 25* 1952)* and at this 
time (Dec. 1959) it seems likely that the wild turkey has again 
become extinct in this area where once it was native. 

In addition to the six birds (two toms and four hens) 
released in the Pinery in May, 1949* 30 young birds were reared at 
the Normandale Pheasant farm and released in 1955* five pair to each 
of three locations, Rondeau Park, Mosa Township and Normandale. 

The release at Rondeau was short-lived - apparently wiped 
out by blackhead and tuberculosis. Those in Mosa Township produced 
at least two broods the following summer but did not survive until 
the next year. The frequent reports from the Normandale - St. Williams 
locality were encouraging but for more than a year now there has been 
no evidence or report that there are any survivors. 

The original six birds released in May, 1949, in the Pinery 
had increased to 45 - 50 by October 1955, and to 75 by November, 1956. 
The flock build-up then collapsed and despite frequent inquiries and 
a ground search by Departmental personnel over some of the more 
likely areas, there was, by 195&* only one unconfirmed report of one 
bird in Lambton County. 

During the winter of 1956-57 a complete deer inventory of 
the entire district was conducted, but no trace of the turkeys could 
be found, although 10$ of the area was searched. 

The cause or causes for the disappearance of the turkeys is 
unknown, except at Rondeau. Predators, illegal shooting, and disease 
are possible, with the latter the more probable, if the wild birds 
came in contact with domestic stock. However, the true cause will 
probably never be known with any certainty. 

It is possible but extremely unlikely that some still 
survive and that another population will build up in the future. 

Included are some old records of known Ontario wild turkeys. 






x 



See F.& W. Mgt. Report No. 10, March, 1953 



- 33 - 



THE WILD TURKEY IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO 



Season or Number and 
Year Month Sex of Birds 
Observed Seen 



Locality 
Where Seen 



Observer 



Remarks 



1950/51 Winter Flock of 30 



1951 



1952 



Aug. 15th 3 birds 
Sept. 15th 



March 



2 birds 



Smith Lake 



Smith Lake 



Lambton Co, 



Reported by 
Dr.Haigmire 
Oct. 11/59 



A decrease 
in numbers 
was indica- 
ted this 
year in 
Lambton 



1953 



April 1 pair 
August 



1954 April 



1 hen and 
3 poults 

1 pair 



Aug. 13th 1 hen and 
11 poults 



1954-55 Winter 



1955 Spring 



June 



1 hen - seen 
twice 

30 birds 

( second release 

in Lake Erie 

District) 

One nest, 
believed to be 
one of two and 
a number of 
Juveniles 



June 2$th One brood, 

worried by a 
dog 



Pinery 
Pinery 

Ft. Franks 

South of 0. Mellick 
Ipperwash 
Military Camp 
Lambton Co. 

Mosa Twp. Resident 



Normandale 
Pheasant 

Farm 



St. Williams Resident 



July 



1 pair adults 
14 poults 



St. Williams Resident 



Mosa Twp. Resident 

Lot 27, Con. 

X 



Reported by 
Jim Anderson 
Hatchery 
Manager 
Normandale 



Seen twice 
during the 
same day 



- 34 - 



Season or Number and 
Year Month Sex of Birds 
Observed Seen 



Locality 

Where. -Seen 



Observer 



Remarks 



1955 September 1 adult 

4 poults 



Mosa Twp 
Lot 24, 
R o I o N • 



Resident 



Oct. 1st 45-50 in 
one flock 



Dec. 14th 1 



Nov. 29th 27 birds 



1955-56 Winter 



Occasional 
sightings 



1956 Jan. 23rd- 2 birds (one 
2#th hen probably 
a Juvenile) 

1956 Summer 1 pair adults 

7 poults 



1956 Sept. 15th Flock of 

30-50 



Oct. 20th 1 pair 



Nov. 4th 



Flock of 
12-15 



Bosanquet O.P.P. 
Twp.Lots 32- Officer 
33 L.R.W (2 
miles east of 
Ft. Franks) 

Port Rowan 



Warwick Twp 0. Mellick 



Reported by 
0. Mellick 



Normandale 
Area 

Port Rowan 



Charlotte- 
ville Twp. 
Lot 9, Con.B 

Turkey Point 



Resident 



Normandale J.Anderson 

Middlemiss Mrs. 

Lot 1 Range Florence 

V, Ekfrid Grass, 

Twp. Resident 



Reported by 
J.Anderson 



Reported by 
J. Anderson 

Reported by 
J. Anderson 



Reported by 
J. Anderson 



Reported by 
J. Anderson 
( several 
unconfirmed 
reports) 



Seen in early 
morning 
flying across 
the road into 
Muncey 

Indian Res. 
Flock also 
seen by a 
neighbor one 
month prev- 
iously. 



- 35 - 



Season Or Number and 
Year Month Sex of Birds 
Observed Seen 



Locality 
Where Seen 



Observer 



Remarks 



1956 October 



1956 November 



1957 January 



195S 



40-50 birds 


Pinery 
Lambton Co. 




Reported by 

Dr. J. K. 
Reynolds 


75 birds 


Bosanquet Twp. 
(Haig Farm Area) 


Mr. Ron 
Fulcher 


Flushed and 
scattered 
quickly when 
disturbed 
Reported by 
0. Mellick 
Nov. 30/56 


17 birds 


Charlotte- 
ville Twp. 
Lot 9, Con. B 


Mr. F. 
Geraux 


Birds were 
seen feeding 
Reported by 
J. Anderson 


7 birds 


Normandale 






1 bird 


Lambton Co. 













- 36 - 

PELEE ISLAND PHEASANT SHOOT, 1959 
STATISTICS AND COMMENTS 

by 
L. J. Stock 






Statistics Based on Hunter Questionnaire 

Sample Size 8% 
Season - Oct. 28th & 29th 
Bag Limit - 8 cocks, 2 hens 

Licences sold Non-resident 937 

Complimentary & Resident 200 
Total 1137 

Total Cocks Bagged 6322 

Per Hunter 5.56 

Total Hens Bagged 2028 

Per Hunter 1.88 

Total Birds Bagged 83 50 

Per Hunter 7.44 

No. of hunters with full quota 3 52 = 31% 

No. of hunters with quota of oocks 405 x 3 5.6% 

No. of hunters with quota of hens 1030 = 90.6% 

No. of hunters who hunted 1st day only 188 = 16.5% 

No. of hunters who hunted both days 949 = 83.5% 

Hunter Success 

Hunters who hunted first day only Hunters who shot limit of cocks 
Cocks bagged per hunter - 7.8 ( lst da Y onl Y) 
Hours per hunter - 5.9 Cocks per hunter - 8.0 
Cocks per hunter hour - 1.25 Hours per hunter - 6.1 

Cocks per hunter hr. - 1.2 

Average number of hours in the field per hunter - 10.1 

(all hunters all season) 
Total birds bagged per hunter - 7. 44 

(all hunters all season) 
Birds per hunter hour - 0.74 

(all hunters all season) 



- 37 - 



The July Estimate Vs.. the October Estimates - Based on Questionnaires) 
Cocks 



Total Bag 

Less imports (Est. 90% survival) 

Bag of native cocks 

Plus loss and illegal kill (15%) 

(Native cocks only) 

Total kill - Native cocks • 

Plus stock (est) 

Contributed by native birds only 
Total Cock Population (Oct. 1959) .......... 

Estimate of Population in Oct. (July survey! 
Difference 



6322 
,900 
5422 

*813 
623 5 

625 

mm 

3004 
•1144 (-Ho3%) 



The estimate in July is 14*3% higher than the population 
indicated by hunting statistics. Factors contributing to the error 
could be! 

1. A high estimate in July, 

2. Higher than average mortality from July to the hunt, 

3. A higher than estimated loss from crippling and 

illegal kill, 
4« Inaccuracies in the questionnaire. 

Some of these factors could be working to reduce 
the population from July to the end of the shoot 



Hens 

(Native) surviving to October (July estimate) 
Less bag 

Less loss and illegal kill (est) 

Post shoot population (based on July estimate) 



14,537 
2,028 

12,509 
2,028 

10,481 



Since the July estimate for cocks was 14.3% higher than the 
population indicated at the shoot, the population of hens after the 
shoot is revised. A reduction of 20% is estimated due to the higher 
mortality rate of hens. 



Revised post shoot estimate 



Estimate based on July survey 

Less 20% (est) 

Final post season estimate 

(Assuming that the mortality of hens would be 
higher than cocks from July to the shoot and that 
the crippling loss would be greater for hens) . 



10,481 



2,096 



- 38 - 

S ummary of Post Season Population - Based on Questionnaire 

Cocks 750 

Hens 8,3^5 

Total c 9,135 

CocksHen Ratio 1:11.2 

Crippling Loss 

Birds hit and not retrieved - both days 

Cocks - Total 14&0 

Per hunter 1.39 

% of bag 23. 

Hens - Total . 523 

Per hunter O.46 

% of bag 26. 

Total - 2003 

Per hunter 1.76 

% of bag 24. 

Birds seen and not picked up 

Hunters who reported seeing no dead birds in the field 
totalled 57% • The remaining 43% saw at least one. 

First Day - Average number seen per hunter 0.5 

Total number seen per hunter 1114 

Second Day - Average number seen per hunter 0.52 

Total number seen per hunter „ 493 

Total seen and not picked up ....<..... 1607 

Birds picked up shot by another 

Cocks 326 
Hens 705 
Totals 1031 

Birds picked up shot by another included in the hunter's bag 

Cocks 230 {86% of birds picked up) 
Hens 162 (23% of birds picked up) 
Totals ............... 442 

Not included in the bag (57$ of those picked up) 5§9 

Hens picked up and given to Conservation Officers 

(not seized) 72 

Unaccounted for 517 

Cocks 46 (14% of those picked up) 

Hens 541 (77$ of those picked up) 

Not included in bag 5S9 

Less 72 (handed in to Conservation Officers) 

Net ».. 517 (cocks 46 - hens 471) 



- 39 - 

The 517 were picked up but not included in the bag and not 
handed over to Conservation Officers - disposition unknown. 

Crippling Loss Data for 1958 and 1959 Compared 

This is presented in an attempt to throw some light on the 
perennial problem of the crippling loss. The percentage of the bag 
involved in each category in the years compared, is worthy of note, 
and certainly indicates that this method of collecting information 
from hunters has value. If gross errors are present, they are at 
least constant from year to year. This is supported by other factors 
- hunting pressure which was constant and weather which has been 
remarkably good for the past five years. 

The percentage of birds reported hit and not retrieved is 
practically the same as for the total number seen dead in the field. 
The unknown number here are those cripples showing no evidence of 
being hit which die later, and the dead birds which are never found. 

Hunters find and pick up birds equal to 12% of the total 
bag. No doubt many more hens would be picked up if hunters were 
encouraged to do so. The problem is a choice between wasting birds 
and opening the door to excessive shooting of hens. 

Tabulation Data Follow ; 

Crippling Loss Data for 1958 and 1959 Compared 



All Hunters Both Days 

Hit and not retrieved 
Seen dead in the field 
Seen dead & not picked 

up 
Seen dead and picked up 
Picked up and included 

in the bag 

Total Bag 
Bag Limit 



1958 




1959 


Diffe 

No. 


rence 


No. of 
Birde 


$ of 

Bag 


No. of 
Birds 


% of 
Bag 


% of 
1958 


2,584 
2,878 


23 
25 


2003 
2638 


24 
22 


-581 
-240 


-22 
- 8.3 


1,553 
1,325 


14 
12 


1607 
1031 

442 

8350 

8 C 
2 H 


19 
12 

5.3 


+ 94 
-294 


+ 6 
-22 


11,227 




-2877 


-26 


9 C 
2 H 









Statistics Based on Hunter Bag Checks - Sample Size 8.7% 

Hunters were contacted prior to boarding the boat to leave 
the Island, therefore the hunt was complete in all cases. 



- 40 - 

No. of hunters checked 110 

No. of cocks bagged per hunter 6.24 

Total 7095 

No. of hens bagged per hunter 2.0 

Total c 2274 

Total birds bagged per hunter ■••••• #.24 

Total bag 9369 

These data, when compared to those derived from question- 
naires, indicate an increase in the kill of cocks of 773 or 12.2$ 
and of hens 246 or 12.0$. 

When the bag check data are compared to the population 
estimate made in July, the results are as follows^ 

Population Estimates Compared - July estimate vs. hunter bag check 

estimate 

Cocks (native) alive at the shoot (July est.) 3004 

Plus imports (est. 90% survival) 900 

Total Cocks before the shoot W0k 

Total bag 7095 

Loss and illegal kill 

(15% of bag est.) 1064 
Cocks alive after the shoot 750 
Total population (pre shoot) #909 

Difference is only 5 birds 

Hens alive at the shoot (July est.) 14537 

Total bag 2274 

Loss and illegal kill (est.) 2274 

Total kill 4543 

Post shoot population 9989 

For Comparison 

Post season population (based on questionnaire) 104&L 

Post season population (hunter bag checks) 99^9 

Difference 492 hens 

(-3.4% of July Estimate) 
Cock/Hen Ratio lsl3-3 

There were no crippling loss data collected on the hunter 
bag checks. 

Statistics based ons 1. Hunter questionnaires, and 

2. Hunter bag checks 
are presented for comparison. Either method indicates a population 
at the shoot which is reasonably close to the estimate made at the 
close of the July survey. 



- 41 - 



I mported Birds 



One thousand cocks were released on the Island about mid- 
October. One hundred and fifty to two hundred adult cocks were 
released in the spring. 

N umber of hunters contacted in the field by Departmental 
officers was 22% of the total during the two days. Two experienced 
officers supervised the hunt. 

Sources of Error in the Questionnaires 

One source of error was obvious this year. Ten percent 
of the hunters reported shooting their quota the first day, and at 
the same time reported hunting hours on the second day. This shows 
that the questionnaires were not accurately completed or that the 
hunter shot for another member of the party on the second day but 
did not report his success. 

Hours of hunting and the number of birds bagged are 
influenced by the fact that thirty-six percent of the hunters cease 
hunting at noon of the second day regardless of the number of birds 
shot or the weather. This year some hunters with dogs reported good 
hunting on the afternoon of the second day in some sections of the 
Island. 

Pelee Pheasant Survey - July, 1959 - Population Estimate & Comments 

P heasant Population Estimate - Pelee Island, July, 195 9 

Hens alive after the shoot 1953 (Kelker Index) 11,712 

Mortality (Nov., 1958-July, 1959) 25% (Estimated) 2,923 

Hens alive July, 1959 8,784 

Less broodless hens (43.2% July, 1959 survey) 3,794 

Hens nesting July, 1959 4,990 

Average brood size (34 broods counted - all ages) 7 
No. of chicks present 34,930 

Chicks surviving to the shoot (43% est.) 15,020 

Juvenile cocks 7,510 

Juvenile hens 7,510 

Adults surviving to the shoot: Cocks (70% est.) 494 

Hens (60% est.) 7,027 

Total population at the shoot : Cocks 8,004 

Hens 14,537 22,541 

Probable Hunters: Non-resident 1,000 

Resident 200 

Total 1 , 200 

Indicated bag 6 Cocks 

3 Hens 
Presented to the Pelee Council in round figures - 

Cocks 8,000 ) Preliminary 
Hens 14,600 ) Estimate 
Bag recommended by Councils Cocks 8 

Hens 2 



- 42 - 



Crop Conditions 



Spring seeding was delayed by frequent spring rains. This 
was followed by unusually dry, hot weather which brought soy beans 
and some varieties of corn into flower two weeks earlier than normal, 
The native Hybiscus palustris was in full bloom during the survey 
for the second time in five years. The other occasion was in 1955 
when the spring and early summer were exceptionally mild. 

Some wheat was winter killed and the fields replanted to 
soy beans. 

Rains in July improved the outlook for a near normal crop. 

Weather 

During the past winter severe ground ice occurred similar 
to that experienced on the mainland. On January 19th and 20th there 
was a snowfall of 7«5 inches, followed by 1.97 inches of rain on the 
21st. The temperature then dropped to 7°I ? freezing the wet snow 
before it melted. Again on January 25th and 26th, five inches of 
snow was followed by 0.95 inches of rain with freezing temperature. 
Winter wheat was killed under the resulting ice. 

During February only 1.5 inches of snow and 2.46" of rain 
fell. However, the temperature was below freezing every night and 
above freezing for only 17 days. The ice persisted under these 
conditions for several weeks. 

Soy beans, which provide much of the winter food for 
pheasants, were consequently unavailable, and a food shortage may 
have developed. Spring and summer conditions may be illustrated by 
comparing the rainfall recorded on the Island. 



Rainfall 










April 

2.39" 
2.92 

4.69 


May 

2.36" 

1.71 
5.05 


June 


1957 
195^ 
1959 


3.70" 

3.73 

1.29 



The Detroit Meteorological Station recorded less rainfall 
during June, 1959? than in any previous year of operation. 

A departure from normal however occurred on June 6 and 7 
on the north half of Pelee when a storm with high winds brought an 
estimated one to two inches of rain. Some pheasant nests were 
flooded and some mortality probably resulted from this storm. 



- 43 - 

No doubt some re-nesting followed this storm, but the 
production curve, leading to the peak of the hatch failed to show any 
interruption in brood production. This curve is plotted for weekly- 
intervals. 

Final Pheasant Population Data In July 1959 Compared to 1958 



Total Broods Counted 

Total Cocks 

Total Hens 

Broodless Hens Count 

Percent 

Broods Per Mile 

Cock/Hen Ratio 





1959 


Difference 


195^ 


Number 


Percent 


482 


236 


-246 


-51 


62 


39 


- 23 


-37.1 


620 


409 


-211 


-34 


139 


177 


+ 38 


•H27.3 


22.4 


43.2 






3.5 


1.7 


-1.8 




1/10 


1/10.5 







- 44 - 

LAKE ERIE SMELT HARVEST BY SPORTS FISHERMEN, 1959 

by 
J. D. Roseborough 



I ntroduction 

In 1957, as a Conservation Officer Project, D. Bailey kept 
records of the numbers of cars entering Point Pelee National Park, 
and of a sample of the number of pounds of smelt taken out in cara 
during the two week period of the smelt spawning run, Although the 
records were not complete enough, this first attempt (l) established 
a method by which an estimate of the smelt harvest could be made, (2) 
indicated the gross errors to be corrected in collecting the data, and 
(3) assisted in training the Conservation Officers in carrying out 
the survey. 



In 
the survey wa 
intensity of 
Roberts and J 
illness, indi 
1,450,000 pou 
son to the 3, 
smelt sport-f 



195$, under the supervision of the late E. A. Roberts, 
s repeated. The data recorded were more complete. The 
the survey was increased. The report prepared by E. A. 
. D. Roseborough during D. Bailey's absence due to 
cated that at Point Pelee some 16,000 smelters caught 
nds of smelt from April 15th to 29th, 195#» In compari- 
700,000 pounds of smelt taken commercially in 1957, the 
ishery was a significant portion of the total harvest. 



In 1959, this survey was repeated with refinements on Point 
Pelee under the supervision of J. A. Toll and duplicated in 21 
other areas along the north shore of Lake Erie by the Conservation 
Officers not directly involved at Point Pelee, in order to assess the 
total harvest by sports fishermen (smelters) on Lake Erie*. 

Method 

The following areas were chosen by the local officers in 
each area for study. The numbers indicated here are used in the rest 
of this reports 



Area # 

1 
2 



3 

4 

5 

6A 

6B 

6C 

7 



Description 



Leamington Dock to Point Pelee Gate 
Point Pelee National Park 

Mersea Township East of Point Pelee 

Kent County Beaches 

Erieau to Morpeth 

Port Stanley 

Port Bruce 

Little Otter Creek 

Port Burwell - West Beach 



Surveying Officer 

Bailey 

Toll, Bailey, 

Greenwood, Owen 

Bailey 

Owen 

Martin, Mclntyre 

Weill, Beck 

Neill, Beck 

Stewart 

Stewart 



' - 45 - 

A rea # Description Surveying Officer 

8 Long Point Beach Allan 

9 Turkey Point Beach Allan 

10 Normandale Beach Anderson 

11 Fisher's Glen Finch 

12 Port Ryerse Finch 

13 Port Dover Finch 

14 Featherstone Point (Selkirk) KcKeown 
1$ Sandy Bay (Port Maitland) McKeown 

16 Ratheon Point McKeown, Howell 

17 Sunset Bay McKeown, Howell 

18 Port Colborne Muma 

19 Burnaby Bay Muma 

20 Niagara River at Fort Erie Muma, Arbuthnot 



Some areas, Point Pelee, Kent County, Erieau to Morpeth, 
Port Stanley, Turkey Point, Port Ryerse and the Niagara River were 
censussed adequately. The other areas were censussed for less than 
six days out of 14» and the calculations are rather unreliable, but 
are included nevertheless. 

The Officers were provided with survey cards, a sample of 
which is attached as Appendix I. Spaces allowed the recording of 
the "Area" surveyed, the "Date", and the count of "Total Cars"' seen 
at any one time. The latter corresponded with the car count at Point 
Pelee, and although this number represented a minimum figure for the 
cars present, it was used as a basis for all calculations. In 
addition, 22 spaces were provided for recording the individual inter- 
views with parties of smelters in a car. The number of smelters 
(#Men) and number of pounds of smelt (;/Pds) in each carload was 
recorded in these spaces. Between 10 and 20 carloads were interviewed 
each night. 

The information obtained from the individual interviews 
was used to calculate the "No. of fishermen per car" and "No. of 
pounds of smelt per car", which calculations were entered in the 
spaces provided. 

Calculations 

The cards were collected and the data were transferred to 
the form shown in Appendix II, "Smelt Harvest Survey Summary." 

The number of men per car and the number of pounds of smelt 
per car were multiplied by the number of cars counted to give a total 
number of "smelters" and a total harvest of smelt in pounds, for each 
date. 



- 46 - 

The summary of activity is shown as Appendix III in a table. 
It indicates that officers, on 131 nights during the run at all 
locations, counted 14,7^4 cars and interviewed 1,$14 carloads of 
smelters. (The representative smelters numbering 6,502 were reported 
to have taken 266,343 pounds of smelt). On the basis of calculations, 
officers actually counted cars, smelters, and pounds of smelt to 
indicate that 52,059 smelters harvested 2,837*333 pounds of smelt. 
(An average of 147 pounds per 3«6 men per car). 

E stimates 

Since not all days were surveyed in each area, the above 
data are quite incomplete. It was felt desirable to estimate the 
number of smelters and their harvest on a 15 day basis for each area. 
To do this it was necessary to compare an incompletely surveyed area 
with one where the data were complete and reliable. The Point Pelee 
data served this latter purpose. 

Method of Estimating 

Each area which was incompletely surveyed was treated as 
follows? 

(a) Smelters ; The percentage of smelters on each day at Point Pelee 
was computed, and compared with the data available for the other 
areas. In Area #4 for instance, the survey data indicated 223 
smelters on nine days of the survey during April 13 to 27th, On 
these nine days at Point Pelee 68.2% of the smelters were recor- 
ded. Therefore, in Area #4, it was estimated that instead of 
228 smelters (63.2%), there were actually 334 smelters (100% 

on the basis of Point Pelee distribution) during this 15-day 
period. The number of smelters on each of the six days not 
surveyed was calculated on the basis of the Point Pelee distri- 
bution to give a 15-day total of 334. 

Each day not surveyed during a 15 day period was treated in this 
way and the number of smelters that would have been counted was 
calculated, 

(b) Smelt harvest per person ; A factor for the pounds of smelt per 
car on each day at Point Pelee was similarly computed and 
compared with data available for the other areas. The estimated 
rates on each day were calculated for the days not surveyed in 
the 15 day period. 

(c) Total harvest ; The estimated data calculated for each day were 
used to obtain an estimated harvest for each day, by multiplying 
the estimated number of smelters by the estimated pounds of smelt 
per car and dividing by the average smelters per car calculated 
separately for each area. 

(d) 15 day period ; Since the smelt-run period varied, the Point 
Pelee data were compared with various periods. The April 13-27th 
Point Pelee data were compared with the same period in areas 

#1, 3> 4, and 5. They were compared with the period of April 
20th to May 4th in areas 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. They were 
used similarly for the period April 27th to May 11th in areas 13 1 
14> 15 and for the period May 11th to 25th in areas 16, 17, 18, 
19 and 20. 



. - 47 - 

This system was not considered entirely satisfactory but since 
it was the best available it was employed throughout. 

The estimates were entirely worked out in order to provide 
each Officer with an assessment of his own area and direction for the 
survey in future years. 

Summary 

The table in Appendix IV summarizes the results including 
the estimates, which are not much different from the calculated 
figures based on the days actually surveyed. 

Areas 6A, 6B, 13 and 17 were not used because of lack of 
data to process. 

In summary, this survey indicated that on the beaches, docks, 
and streams which were surveyed by Conservation Officers during a 
15-day period extending from April 12th until May 25th, a total of 
62,000 "smelters' 1 harvested in the order of 2,995*000 pounds of 
smelt. 

This survey was not carried out in all areas fished by 
sports fishermen during the smelt run. Car counts at one time each 
evening, obviously could not account for smelters at all times of 
the night. The figures therefore, represent a "measured minimum 1 " 
smelting acitivity and harvest. 

Even with the disinterest shown the run this spring by the 
public, according to all reports by the Officers, the sports 9 harvest 
conceivably equals the commercial harvest in Lake Erie. 

The effort put forth by each Conservation Officer in 
collecting the information in the field under extreme conditions, and 
by the District office staff in their tabulations and typing of the 
miriads of datum was the basis for preparation of this report. The 
scope of the survey and data indicate the excellent co-operation 
given by a large number of contributors. 



■ - 4B - 
APPENDIX I - Department of Lands & Forests Smelt Harvest Survey Card 

Area ____.. 

Date 

Total Cars 

Number Fishermen Per Car 



Number Pounds Smelt Per Car 



Individual Counts of Fishermen and Pounds Per Car 

Number Men Number Pounds Number Men Number Pounds 



- 49 - 

APPENDIX II - Department of Lands and Forests 
Smelt Harvest Survey Summary 



Area Officer 



6 7 8 9 



m . t Parties Checked /, ,- _,/ _. , . T , T n , 

Total — jf ken # Pds. No. No. Pds 

Date Cars if Cars # Men # Pds Per Car Per Car Smelters Smelt 
k/3 _i/3__ 2x6 2x7 



Remarks 





• 




CO 




T5 -P 




O, H 


ON 


CD 




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- 51 - 

APPENDIX IV - Lake Erie Smelt Sport Fishery - 









Area 


Number of Smelters 


Pounds of Smelt Harvested 


1 


517 


62,272 


2 


38,628 


2,569,106 


3 


156 


8,201 


4 


362 


19,336 


5 


2,021 


92,915 


6c 


247 


413 


7 


282 


176 


8 


357 


72 


9 


10,575 


167,643 


10 


1,909 


33,459 


11 


679 


9,289 


12 


1,888 


2,762 


13 


- 


X 


14 


408 


1,113 


15 


287 


970 


16 


745 


3,408 


17 


- 


K 


18 


1,500 


7,378 


19 


1,000 


4,573 


20 


452 


12,001 


TOTAL 


62,013 


2,995,000 



x Insufficient data 






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